Ngamba Island which is located in Lake Victoria and is easily accessible from Entebbe Municipality is home to 48 rescued chimpanzees, which are extremely vulnerable to weather disasters such as the flooding of Lake Victoria that is now happening.
Over 20% of the island is now under water and most of the structures have been flooded, while the animals’ habitat is also in danger.
The flooding and rising water levels of Lake Victoria have risen up to over 1.5 meters since the rains started falling.
The landing pier has been submerged and a temporary wooden, raft-like pier has been put on top the submerged one and over 4,000 bags have been procured and filled with sand in order to line the shores and to reduce soil erosion that would eventually undermine the structures and compromise their integrity and safety for use.
On a daily basis, sanctuary workers have to lay more bags or relocate others to keep the water out of some of the buildings and reduce the damage that may be caused by strong waves from the rising water levels
As the sanctuary grapples with the risk of being submerged it also has to contend with the issue of feeding the chimpanzees.
The island which is part of the Koome group of islands on Lake Victoria and relies 10 per cent on tourists for its existence, is home to 50 orphaned and rescued chimpanzees.
Under the program ‘Feeding the Chimps Campaign’, the 22-year-old sanctuary, that occupies 100 acres is appealing to the public to help support the feeding and care of the chimpanzees with both fresh foods and cereals.
The management planned for a shut-down of the sanctuary and put in place measures to help sustain operations for about six months at the announcement of Covid-19 in February.
However, management did not expect that it would become a pandemic and forcing a total lockdown which also took them by surprise and made their planning inadequate since the chimpanzees feed on about 2,625 kilograms of fruits and vegetables every month which are supplied every 10 days in the month the supplies where then running out
The chimpanzees also needed about 500kgs of Posho and millet in equal measure as well as another 50kgs of soy, every month to sustain them and for smooth operations.
There were also requests for donations to feed primates, reptiles, hoof stocks, carnivores and birds.
Costs of Running the Sanctuary
a) For a 10-day feeding cycle, chimpanzees feed on 100kgs of oranges which costs Shs200,000/=